The content of our meditation makes a major difference in us. Gravel in a coffee grinder would destroy the device. Our mind needs the Word, not lies and discouragement. Naomi lost her husband and sons and wanted to live her bitterness. But she choose to go home. And she had Ruth, a friend. She found kindness and provision from the field of Boaz, a man of God. (Ruth 1:20, 2:19-22)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 9/5/2021
P. Schaller –
I’m going to teach on the book of Ruth this morning. How many of you know that book, the book of Ruth? Four
chapters. How many of you know the book of Ruth? Little bit? Okay. Beautiful story and that will
be our theme, a message from that book. P. Scibelli gave a great message at 9:00 on God’s
ways, God’s unique ways. His mind and how he works in history. What does he do? We don’t
really understand his ways left to ourselves. We don’t know his ways, but we also know the Holy
Spirit reveals to us God’s ways. He said in Psalm 103 about Moses, God taught Moses his
ways. I think about Moses learning and just like you and I we are learning who God is and how
we live our lives. Today will be a good message. I believe that. Would you stand with me as we
begin and just kind of in your heart say this simple prayer with me. [prayer]. Before you are
seated, would you turn to your neighbor and tell them so good encouraging words like God is
with you, grace be unto you, peace be unto you, Jesus is with you.
You may be seated. Our first principle is from Colossians 3. Turn there with me. Colossians 3. I have a coffee grinder up here on the pulpit. Here it is filled with what? Coffee beans. This is an illustration. I’d like you to read the verse, Colossians 3:16. Look at that verse. Let the word of Christ. These are amazing words in our Bible. The
word of life. The words of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:13. Let. Let. Meaning allow this to happen that
the word of Christ would dwell in you. Where would the word of Christ dwell in you? In your
mind. How? Richly. What does richly mean? Abundantly. A lot of it. What? The word of Christ.
vs. 16. We are teachers. We are talking. We are fellowshiping. We are encouraging. We are
wise. We are counselling. We are listening. We have a mind of faith. A mind. This coffee grinder
is a picture of a mind. Your mind is like a coffee grinder.
The machine and the beans are what? Word of Christ. Ready for the big demonstration? Why am I doing this? As if you don’t know what I’m doing. Why am I doing it?Only because I want to smell them! Like a long time! Long
time! Hey! Good question. What do you have grinding in your mind? What’s grinding in your
mind? I can smell it. This is like my meditation is depending on what I put in there, right? If it’s
the word of Christ there will be a fragrance, a fellowship, truth, Holy Spirit. Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly in your mind and heart and then what happens but fellowship. Fellowship with
God. I’m sure you’ve all had a dog where the dog loved you. How about it? Anybody? You have
a dog that loved you, a dog that lied down and opened it’s belly up and say I am here. Here I
am. I love you. The dog is on the floor and you scratch it or pet it or so on. You know, this is part
of life for us. We have fellowship with God. We are open to God.
How do you get open to God? By being open to his word. The word going into our hearts and minds and us worshiping God in the Spirit of God. You can actually smell that. You can actually feel the encouragement and
the love. You can actually sense the Holy Spirit has been sent into your life, right? Here’s what
happened to Naomi in the book of Ruth. Turn to book of Ruth. This is your Sunday reading or
you can read it this week. The book of Ruth. And glean from it. It’s such a beautiful book
because it’s so short. It’s so much about two women. One she’s got a mark against her because
of the country she is from. She is from Moab. The Jews had an attitude about the Moabites.
They were not welcomed in the tabernacle according to the law of Moses. The Moabites were on the other side of the Jordan, the Dead Sea and Ruth came from there because her mother-
in-law, Naomi, and her husband, Elimelech, went there because there was famine in Israel.
As they moved to Moab ten years later, the husband is dead and worse, even more, the two sons
have died. Mahlon and Chilion were their names. So a woman in the ancient world without a
husband and without sons, a foreigner in a Moabite country is in trouble. So she’s discouraged
and depressed. It’s so easy for that to happen to people. They get broken, homeless, without a
job. They get into more trouble. It seems like the coffee grinder – by the way, this illustration is
from Dr. Wilder Smith, a famous scientist from Europe. He said the mind is like this. He’s a
Christian. He said if you put gravel in the coffee grinder and you won’t have anything good come
out of it and probably will break the grinder. People are like this. If you put lies in the human
heart, in the human mind, then it’s so destructive what happens in my life as a person.
This was happening to Naomi. How many homeless people are hurting and broken and devastated in life
and how that can happen. This is the beginning of the story. The first part of the story is how this
woman’s name means Pleasant. Naomi means pleasant. When she returned to Bethlehem, to
Israel, where she was from she came back and the people that had seen her leave ten years
earlier when they said, is this Naomi? Is this Naomi? Look at chapter 1, vs. 19. If you put the
wrong stuff in the coffee grinder, people might ask you, is that you? What happened to you?
What are you thinking? You look so old. You look worn out. Life is hard. What happened to you.
This church is here for this reason. It’s here to lead us and teach us something amazing that
everyone of us have. But one of the lies that can go in the coffee grinder is this works for these
people but it doesn’t work for me. It’s not going to work for me. That’s not true. It works for
whoever. Because we understand that God is the God of grace, the God of all grace. He is the
God that gave Jesus Christ for us so we could have grace. Every single person in this world is
an object – everybody that is a live is an object of God’s grace. There is nobody excluded from
that great grace. He gave Christ for everybody. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
He has no pleasure in Satan keeping us bound. He has no pleasure in the coffee grinder
grinding pebbles and lies and empty promises and foolishness.
He has no pleasure in our broken hearts, in our devastated lies. Amen. But Naomi is a good picture of one of these
homeless people beat up and hurting and the people on the Beltway in the suburbs living in nice
houses and having nice lives. It’s the same pebbles and gravel that churns in their mind that
produces depression and fear and alcoholism and unbelief and everything else. This is the first
point of our message today. What happened to her, and I have four points I want to show you.
The first thing she did was she went home. The first thing that she did when she had this trouble
she decided I’ll go home. That’s the first thing she did. A decision. I will go home to my people. I
will go home to where I came from. I came from my people.
Sometimes when I meet someone on the street in Baltimore I ask them, did your grandmother teach you about Jesus? Ninety percent of the time, yes. My grandmother. Was your grandmother a good woman? Yes, my
grandmother was a good woman. My grandmother taught me about Jesus. Come home. Go
back. Come to the place to hear about the God of your grandmother. The God of grace. The
God that answers prayer. Come home. That’s the key to your healing and to have my mind, to
relate to God. Put some coffee beans in there. Enough of this garbage that is all around us in
our society. Forget it. It’s over. I’m not doing that. I’m heading home. I’m going home. Out of the
two women, there was Orpah and Ruth. It was Ruth that said I’m going with you. The second
thing is having a friend, having someone with you. It say when Naomi walked, she turned to go
home, to go to Bethlehem, this is from Moab. It’s some days walking. She was silent. She’s a
broken woman. She doesn’t have anything to give anybody except maybe nasty words. Get out
of my face. Leave me alone. I’m depressed. I’m devastated.
It says Ruth followed her and was silent. A friend that can be with you, a friend that will say I believe your – listen to this. Your God will be my God. Where you live I will live. Where you are buried, I will be buried. I’m going with
you. You know the church is in this world to be friends with people that are hurt, to forgive
people that have made bad decisions. To encourage people. Teaching and admonishing one
another. That’s a big word for encouragement. You have a future. God is a God of all grace.
Jesus is here. Jesus does things. He waves his hand and he heals. He says a word. Jesus puts
mud on someone’s eyes and tells them to wash in the pool and they are healed. Jesus fed the
multitude. Christ said the prayers. Jesus said to the disciples follow me and I’ll make you fishers
of men. God is a God of restoration. It’s a very big word. It’s to restore. It’s to heal. It’s to help us.
It’s to change us because my machine is broken because of the gravel I have been grinding, the
pebbles I’ve been churning, the wood chips. Wood chips.
Wood, hay and stubble that I’m grinding up in my head. It’s garbage. It’s revenge. It’s hatred. It’s fear. It’s jealousy. It’s anger against God. It’s a bitterness in my heart. She says this in vs. 20. I want to have a name
change. Not Naomi. Call me Mara. That word means “bitter.” I blame him. I blame him. Call me
bitter. He has made me bitter. He took my husband. He took my two sons. He has made me
bitter. Call me bitter. How many people on the streets in America are like this. How many people
who are hurt. How many people are in trouble. How many people don’t have anything to grind in
their mind except this bitterness. Okay, so this is a sad thing but it’s in my heart. I like this
subject because this is what we do. I think I made the point. But you know what is interesting in
the story? She said it but it’s not recorded that anybody called her bitter. Ruth did not call her
bitter. She said I want to have a name change.
Call me bitter. And everybody listening is like, not going to happen. No. I don’t accept that. I remember one mother telling me her son came home drunk. He was driving. He drove home drunk. The mother and the son, teenage son got
into a fight. He said this is me. This is my choice. I get drunk. This is my life. This is me. This is
who I am. The mother said this is not who you are. I don’t accept it. This is not who you are.
This is not who you are. I will fight all the time. This is not who you are. He gets angry and goes
out and drives away. I like that. You say, call me bitter and what do we say? That’s not who you are. That’s not God. That’s not true. I don’t accept that. That’s not his plan. That’s not the end of
it. It’s not over. That’s not who you are. In the book, nobody is calling her bitter. Ruth, her friend,
is not saying that to her. The three things. She came home. Go to chapter 2:19-22 are these
points. Gleaning means going through a field to pick up the fruit or the grain that had been
missed by the harvesters. In the Jewish law, the law of Moses, the Jews were to leave the
corners of the field like full with the grain for the poor.
So the poor could go in the field and get the food by gleaning on their own. Jesus and their disciples were hungry and they went to the field to pluck the corn. They were free to do it cause they were poor people. Jesus and his
disciples were poor. They were allowed to glean. So Ruth and her mother-in-law are without
jobs, without an income, without a family support system. So Ruth is out in the field to get food.
Her mother-in-law said where have you gleaned today? What field? Where have you gone?
And you see in this, at least I see it anyway that this woman Naomi and Ruth there is some
hope. There is something born in this woman. When that hope comes, this is very important for
us. I can believe again. I can hope again. I believe that if you are in the field – really it’s the field
of Boaz because he is a relative of ours. Actually, technically, legally, he has the right to marry
you. This doctrinal way of thinking, this biblical meditation that goes in your mind, this is where
you are living. It’s in your mind. It’s in your heart. What are you hearing?
What are you embracing? What are you believing? What goes in your mind and heart will define for you your
life. We are told in our society it all has to do with money and environment and education and
your upbringing and all of these things and if you are privileged or not privilege and all of this –
this is ridiculous. It’s not reality. Reality has to do with God who made you and God who speaks
to you and God who is for you. God who gave you his son. God put his promises, his word of
Christ dwelling richly in your heart and in your mind. That will define for you your life. That will
change you. That will give you something that the world doesn’t have. The world is very good at
making people victims. The world is very good at destroying and putting gravel in your grinder.
That’s a good phrase for a t-shirt, putting gravel in the grinder. The second thing she says here
in vs. 20. This is an abbreviated message for it because I just want to hit my points and
introduce the subject and have you think with me in the Holy Spirit.
But reading the book today or this week God will teach you something from it. Look at 2:20, What is she talking about?
She’s seeing something. She’s seeing kindness. Naomi the bitter woman is changing. She is
saying I see kindness. I see goodness. I see Boaz maybe as a solution to our problems. I see
the hand of God. Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God. Have you seen God at your
working place? Have you seen God in your family? Have you seen God in your life? We have
seen God. We live in a world it says in Psalm 33:6 his goodness fills the earth. He is
everywhere around us. He is here whispering, speaking, talking to us, helping us to see
kindness. Is there kindness? Yes. Did he take my husband? Yes. It hurt. But there is healing in
his wings, Malachi 4. He took my son, the first one, my husband and son and I could hardly bear it.
I got one left and then he took him. I cannot bear it. I cannot bear it. Call me bitter. Recently I
met a man who came here. He lost his daughter in December with overdose.
He’s devastated. Twenty-nine year old woman. Beautiful woman. Lost her. He said I lost everything. When I lost
my daughter, then just turned to my own way and I lost my businesses and cars. I lost
everything. Now I’m in rehab. But I’m making my way. I wonder where he is in this process. I
don’t know. I love this guy. He’s been here for some weeks. Maybe you know, but it doesn’t
matter. There are many of them. Many of them. Naomi is, this is what is needed. I say this to
warn you. I say this to every one of us. I say this to myself. There is something precious when
you can actually smell the coffee beans and actually sense the blessing, the healing, the
process of God in life. Where is it going? Where is it going? This is the fourth one. vs. 22. Ruth
was in Boaz’s field. Naomi says that man is kind. That man may be our solution. But then she
said to Ruth, it’s good you don’t go into any other field.
I think there is a message in that. That when you find the hand of God in your life, you don’t go to any other field. You stay with God. You stay with his thoughts. You stay with his ways. You stay with his hand. You stay with his
people. You stay in the faith. You grow in the faith and you continue in it. There are many fields
in the world, and people turn to them. What would it be? There’s money in this field. I’ll go to this
field. Naomi, if we had money that would be the thing. Naomi would say, no. No. That’s not God.
We don’t need that. We need to be where God wants you to be and stay in that field. God will
take care of us. We’ll see what God will do. Let’s stay in our faith. Let’s stay in our Bible. Let’s
stay in the Body of Christ. Let’s live in love. Let’s learn forgiveness. Let’s learn to give mercy.
Let’s believe God for the impossible. Let’s have a vision. Let’s see what God will do in life. No, I
found another field. It’s called – what will we call it? You can help me. What is it? I found another
field. What? I couldn’t hear you? What’s another field? Gravel field. Self-pity. Self-pity. Feeling
sorry for yourself. Do you know you can find a field and in the objective reality of life it’s not the
place to be but it’s a place you enjoy. Nevertheless, it’s a field of dysfunction, a field of hatred, a
field of self-pity, a field of arrogance. This is where I am. I love to be mean and nasty and leave
me alone. Get off my porch. This is my world. This is my life. That’s the field that people can go
in. But Naomi is saying no. Moses, he knew when he went to Pharaoh he was in a contest. Why
does Moses know this? He can smell the coffee beans? What do you mean?
Moses when he talks to Pharaoh he gives the message and when he’s coming home or when he’s giving it, he
can smell the coffee beans. He’s coming home and going that was a home run. That was a
home run. He goes back to Pharaoh. Let my people go. He says who are you? Get out of my
face. I never want to see you again. Moses goes home. Woe! Yeah! God is in it. God is with me.
I don’t understand the ways of God but I know this is right. And when they went to the Red Sea
and the Red Sea split and they went over, do you know what Moses is doing? I know what is
going on. This is the hand of God. I got it. It’s good. I got it. You must have this in your life, you
and me. We must have a sense cause this is where our satisfaction is coming from. You see, if
you don’t have that smell of that goodness that comes, that meditation in your heart and mind, –
if you don’t have it, you won’t be satisfied and you’ll go grind gravel.
There’s no smell there. There’s no fragrance. There is nothing but a ruined machine and a ruined life. But you – I’ll finish
with this – you and I are blessed people cause what I am saying is real. This is the Holy Spirit.
We have been speaking about the Holy Spirit for one or two Sundays. The Holy Spirit. And
tonight I think I want to speak about prayer. Do you know that many Christians do not pray.
Many Christians do not pray. They don’t know about it. They don’t pray. Yes, they say short
prayers. Yes, they do pray like that when they are in trouble. Or they do the formal or the prayer
– no. Many of us and I’m including myself. I have known it. I have known it but I want to have a
prayer revival in my life. Maybe God has done many great things through our prayers. I’m sure
he has, but I honestly care about those amongst us that have not yet discovered the amazing
blessing and satisfaction that comes from an hour of prayer.
Waiting on God. A time of trust and waiting on God. You see there are Christians that have this fragrance in their prayer. They get up off their knees or they come home from their prayer walk and they’re feeling like woe! This is
real. Thank you, Jesus. That’s our message today. Pray with me.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.
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